This article was first published on January 20, 2015
“Never paint for the love of money, do it for the love of it.”
This advice was given to up-and-coming artists by renowned visual artist Fielding Babb at his retirement function last evening at the Pelican Village.
“Eventually if you do good work, money will come. So put money behind your back, although all of us need money. Look at the creativity that comes out for the love of the arts,” he said to family, friends and specially invited guests gathered for the function.
Babb, who would no longer publicly display his work in show galleries, said he thought the time was right to leave the profession he was a part of for 57 years.
“I do feel that we should never go out by force. We should always go out gracefully, giving room for artists, not only the visual arts, but all fields. Always take a bow and say ‘I should go now’. You more than likely won’t see me on the streets painting again and I hope that the young artists here follow what I did in the past and help the young ones who are looking for a career in the fine arts,” Babb said.
In an emotional speech, the veteran thanked everyone who assisted him over the years.
“They are so many people that I have to say thanks to, thanks for all their help and encouragement through the years,” he said.
Babb made special mention of his wife of more than 50 years stating, “She has a good heart. Some days I go in tired and she is there waiting. If I go to bed at two she goes in at two, she refuses to go to bed without me.”
Meantime, President of the Barbados Arts Council Amahd Badoo agrees that Babb’s journey was a successful one.
Art galleries, he said, would definitely miss his presence.
“Fielding has a holistic memory. He looks at success as a journey. If you take a look around in here you would see the great work he did. Fielding has been painting longer than I have been alive. Many people have passed through here and left. It’s an honor for me to stand here today and witness a retirement function for Fielding in a place where he started,” Badoo said. “He has really changed my view of retirement. You don’t retire as an artist. It’s the only profession you stay employed in until you die. But what Fielding is retiring from is the public showing of his work in gallery spaces.”